Ali, legs lost in Misrata, waited 27 days to sail in fishing boat to Tunis hospital @wheelertweets

Libya, Middle East & North Africa, Military | | July 16, 2011 at 14:07

Meet Ali, an inspirational son of Libya

July 14. Tunis hospital. Meet Ali, an inspirational son of Free Libya.  He’s a Misrata freedom fighter hit by a Gaddafi Grad on May 13. Both legs amputated.

Ali said the Grad exploded at his feet and the blast threw him 10 meters away. One of his comrades was literally cut in half.  He waited 27 days to get out of Misrata. There were no medical evacuations during the siege. The whole first week after Ali was hit, doctors said he would die. But his spirit rose like a phoenix.

In Ali’s group of 30 FFs, three died and seven were injured from that one Grad. He said their weapons range was only 5km max vs 40km for the Gaddafi forces.

Ali sailed from Misrata, Libya on a small fishing boat. It was fast, but bounced a lot. During his first five days in Tunisia, Ali was treated for further damage suffered on the voyage, not for direct injuries from the Grad.

Misrata was out of anesthetics when a chunk of flesh was removed near his waist. Ali showed me how he bit down a towel and clenched to control the pain. On the parts of Ali’s body that remain, it looks like he was hit by a meteor shower. There are marks of 100 pieces of shrapnel from the Grad.

Ali said he’d been quiet and introspective before I came by. But as you can see, he became energized as we visited. Ali said Gaddafi is a coward, hitting them with bombs and rockets from afar.

But Ali is undaunted; he said he’d gladly give the rest of his body for Libya and his beloved city, Misrata. He radiates a noble passion. Visiting with Ali was a joy, but I couldn’t help weeping. He took my head in his hands, kissed it, and told me not to cry.

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